Mount Elbert is the highest point of the Rocky Mountains and the highest point in the state of Colorado. Elbert is also the second highest summit. Mount Whitney is the highest and is located in California. Elbert is located in the Sawatch Range just a half hour north of Buena Vista, CO on US highway 24 heading towards Leadville, CO.
The mountain was named in honor of a Colorado statesman, Samuel Hitt Elbert, who was active in the formative period of the state and Governor of the Territory of Colorado from 1873 to 1874. Henry W. Stuckle of the Hayden Survey was the first to record an ascent of the peak, in 1874. The easiest and most popular climbing route includes the Northeast Ridge which is rated as class 1 hike. Mount Elbert is therefore often referred to as the "gentle giant" that tops all others in the Rocky Mountains.
Mount Elbert is visible to the southwest of Leadville, CO. It attracts many hikers of all skill levels including “high pointers” & “peak baggers” as well as other mountaineers. Elbert is one of 58 Fourteeners in Colorado which dominates the Rockies at 14,433 feet above sea level.
Elbert is one of many popular mountain hikes in Colorado besides Mount Bierstadt and Quandary Peak just to name a few. Elbert is a very doable day hike which averages 8 hours round trip be home just in time for dinner or relax comfortably at a nearby hot spring.
Most meteorologists recommend to hike it in the early morning hours and be off the mountain by noon when thunderstorms are active especially during monsoon season. It is dangerous to be above the tree line of the mountain when thunderstorms are present which marks much greater chances of getting struck by lightning. Knowing the safe proper procedures during lightning storms are key. Always check the weather forecasts before heading out the door and don’t forget the sunscreen and tons of water.
Scott Garcia, Colorado Ambassador